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Attorneys helping public during Law Week

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NEW PORT RICHEY -

During Law Week 2013, the West Pasco Bar Association will highlight the many ways attorneys help the community.

Law Week events, from April 23 through May 3, will include an “Ask a Lawyer” advice program for the public; Law Suits, for people needing job interview attire; a banquet with judges as speakers; and awards presentation to a law enforcement officer of the year recipients and other public servants.

“We’re rapidly approaching a couple of hundred members,” the bar association’s president, Gary Davis said.

“We’re growing by leaps and bounds,” added Amanda Colon, the president-elect.

Free credits for continuing education appeals to members, Colon said. A recent seminar drew some 120 participants to hear a Stetson University expert deliver a three-hour presentation on evidence.

A social event in November attracted 70 members to Starkey Ranch for the informal occasion.

For Law Week, association members are collecting donations of professional attire and accessories for the Law Suits project to help those entering the profession, attorney Debora A. Diaz explained.

Donations will go to Connections Job Development and the Pasco Hernando Community College “Dress for Success” program, which is sponsored by the Legal Eagle’s Club. Graduating students from the paralegal program often require the proper attire for entering the legal profession.

Collection sites for clothes will be the offices of Blaesing & Diaz, P.A., 5946 Main St., New Port Richey; O’Connor Law Group, P.A., 9743 U.S. 19, Port Richey; and Wollinka & Wollinka, 1835 Health Care Drive, Trinity. For drop-off hours and other information, call Diaz at (727) 846-1802.

On Wednesday, May 1, people can talk with volunteer attorneys on law-related questions through “Ask a Lawyer.” Declan Mansfield is organizing the program.

People can make appointments for time slots between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at two locations: CARES Rao Musunuru Center, 12417 Clock Tower Parkway, Hudson; and CARES Claude Pepper Center, 6640 Van Buren St., New Port Richey.

Attorneys at the New Port Richey site will be Frank Bianco, Debora Diaz, Stephanie Pawuk, Matt Ellrod, Jenny Sieg, Steven Jonas, Kathy Logue and Mansfield.

Attorneys at the Hudson site will be Brian Battaglia, Dionne Blaesing, Clementine Conde, Beverly Barnett, Erin Catey, Bruce Przepis and Tara O’Connor.

To sign up, call the CARES Center in New Port Richey at (727) 844-3077 or the CARES center in Hudson at (727) 863-6868.

The Law Week banquet, at noon Thursday, May 2, will feature two judges as speakers: Circuit Judge W. Lowell Bray Jr. and Pasco County Judge Debra Roberts. The event will take place at Heritage Springs Country Club, 11345 Robert Trent Jones Parkway, Trinity.

The judges will speak on the theme “Realizing the Dream — Equality for All.”

Winners of the Justice Award and the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award will accept plaques.

Cost is $21 for WPBA members and judiciary members or $25 for nonmembers and guests. Online registration is due by Friday, April 26, at www.wpba.net.

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